Curated Session: Smart Technologies

Tackling Wasted Food with Smart Technology (1 CEU)

Monday, September 25, 2017
15:30 – 16:30
Room 308

In 2015, the UN announced a very ambitious, sustainable development goal of reducing food loss and waste by half by the year 2030. Innovations along the food supply chain will be critical to reducing wasted food, facilitating reuse by people and animals, and recycling energy and nutrients to meet this goal. The speakers in this session will highlight how adoption of smart technologies—including social media platforms, the Internet of bins, and big data—is creating new economic opportunities to reduce and reuse wasted food and increase recycling.

We will bring together speakers from organizations and companies representing new and innovative uses of information and communications technology (ICT) to reduce food waste. The session will follow the structure of the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy of reduction (preventing wasted food at the source), reuse (donating wasted food leftovers) and recycling (as energy or nutrient products following processing).

Between 30–40% of food is wasted in countries throughout the world, which results in a tremendous loss of wasted resources, as well as of opportunities to feed hungry people. As a result, the UN established in 2015 a sustainable development goal of “halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains by 2030”. The U.S. has adopted this target for itself.

This is a very ambitious goal, given current technologies as well as the structure of the food and waste sector. However, much innovation is occurring in the application of information and communications technology (ICT) all along the food supply (and food/waste) chain. The adoption of these smart technologies is creating new economic opportunities to reduce food waste and increase food waste recycling back into the production as energy and nutrients following processing via composting or anaerobic digestion.

In this session, we will bring together speakers from organizations and companies representing new and innovative uses of smart technologies to reduce food waste. The session will follow the structure of the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy of reduction (preventing wasted food at the source), reuse (donating wasted food leftovers) and recycling (as energy or nutrient products following processing).

The Environmental Law Institute has launched a new food waste blog series. Its first three blogs look at the role of smart tech—the “Internet of bins”, big data, social media platforms—to accelerate achieving the three “Rs” in the EPA food recovery hierarchy: Reduction (preventing wasted food at the source), Reuse (donating wasted food leftovers) and Recycling (as energy or nutrient products following processing).

Technologies to be covered include:

  1. Preventing food waste: (a) measurement technologies to estimate quantity, type and value of food waste each day, and inform waste reduction strategies, in some cases linked to the use of onsite processors that create concentrated and more homogenous feedstock slurries for more efficient off-site processing; (b) virtual coordination of secondary markets; (c) improved inventory control systems, including improved coordination of ordering and improved tracking and management of perishables in transit.
  2. Donation: online social media platforms linked with databases connecting suppliers of edible food with hunger organizations in need, in some cases coordinated with transportation on a fee-basis or by volunteers.
  3. Recycling: “smart” bins with ICT that allows for dynamic route optimization, truck diagnostics, and debit payment systems; as well as weight-based PAYT pricing (potentially differentiated by waste type) to incentivize generators to reduce waste.


Katy Franklin, Manager, Business & Multistakeholder Programs, ReFED, New York

Katy Franklin

Katy Franklin serves as ReFED’s Manager of Business & Multistakeholder Programs, developing industry-specific resources and implementing food waste solutions throughout the supply chain. Ms. Franklin also contributes to the development of new insights into food waste solutions as well as ReFED’s work with innovators. Previously, Ms. Franklin managed operations at Sustainable America, where she gained a deep understanding of successful food waste reduction programs with consumers, food service providers, private firms, and at major events. She has co-authored research on consumer-level impacts of food waste and impact investing to catalyze solutions. Ms. Franklin also helped develop Further with Food, a public-private partnership convened to address food loss and waste.

Andrew Shakman, President & CEO, LeanPath, Oregon

Andrew Shakman

Andrew Shakman is a food waste prevention advocate and the CEO of LeanPath, a foodservice technology company. Since co-founding LeanPath in 2004 to address the food waste crisis, Mr. Shakman has been working at the front lines of behavior change, helping foodservice operators prevent and minimize food waste in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. Under his leadership, LeanPath created the first automated and patented food waste metering system to enable real-time, daily monitoring of food waste. Mr. Shakman is a member of the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Sustainability Advisory Council and a strategic advisor to the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. In 2012, he was named one of Food Service Director Magazine’s “20 Most Influential” people in the foodservice industry. Mr. Shakman holds a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MFA from the University of Southern California.

Mr. Shakman will provide an overview of on-site food waste measurement and monitoring-based technologies, including LeanPath systems.

Cheryl Kollin, Program Director, Community Food Rescue, Maryland

Cheryl Kollin

Cheryl Kollin is principal of Full Plate Ventures, a business consulting firm. She helps entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations launch food businesses in the Metro Washington, D.C., region. Ms. Kollin serves as program director of Community Food Rescue, the coordinated network for food recovery in Montgomery County, Maryland. A program of Manna Food Center, the organization takes a systems approach to reducing wasted food and increasing good food to people experiencing hunger. Ms. Kollin is a founding member of the Montgomery County Food Council. Ms. Kollin has an MBA in sustainable business with an industry concentration in sustainable food and agriculture from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.

Ms. Kollin will highlight different models for linking suppliers of edible food with hunger organizations, including the locality-based program she heads in Montgomery County MD.

Michael Keleman, Manager of Environmental Engineering, Emerson, Wisconsin

Michael Keleman

Michael Keleman has more than 20 years of experience as a wastewater treatment professional, starting at a laboratory in Lafayette, Indiana, and progressing to supervision and management of facilities in Fremont, Angola, and Elkhart, Indiana. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in environmental health science and a Master’s degree in environmental engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He holds certifications and licenses for water and wastewater treatment operations and is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist with the National Environmental Health Association. Mr. Keleman oversees current research projects to help understand and communicate the impacts of food waste disposers on wastewater treatment infrastructure and works with municipalities promoting the diversion of organics from landfills and resource recovery at wastewater treatment plants. He assists the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation with oversight for research projects as a member of the Issues Area Team for Resource Recovery. He is a Board member for WasteCap Resource Solutions.

Mr. Keleman will highlight the use of smart technologies in recycling, including the Grind2Energy system, with technologies to measure and monitor waste on site, and optimize routes for collecting waste from their onsite containers and delivering it to local AD facilities.